Jinya Ramen Bar Opens Near Logan Circle
Jinya Ramen Bar, the Los Angeles-based noodle shop which opened its flagship East Coast restaurant in Fairfax’s Mosaic District in June 2016, will open its newest restaurant in the Logan Circle neighborhood at 1336 14th St. NW on Sept. 25.
The restaurant will open at 11 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, door prizes and other activities throughout the day. The first 100 guests on Monday will receive a free bowl of ramen.
“We’re so excited to bring Jinya to D.C. where diners have adventurous and sophisticated worldly palates,” said general manager Hoang Nguyen in a press release. “We, at Jinya, strive to move ramen beyond the tag of a ‘trend’, creating a permanent place for it in the District.”
The 4,000-square-foot space, designed by Los Angeles-based Ikedo Design and D.C.-based Grupo 7, covers two floors at the corner of 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW and seats 100 diners and a full 14-seat bar on the first floor and a 12-seat bar on the second floor along with a small outdoor terrace upstairs.
The interior features dark wood floors, ceilings, chairs and tables, brown banquettes and exposed brick walls. A back room on the second floor features a faux grass wall, windows overlooking Rhode Island Avenue and a pig mural on the wall.
Inspired by founder Tomonori Takahashi’s experiences with both Western and Eastern culture, Jinya specializes in pork tonkotsu ramen with bold flavors and a variety of customizable options. The cooking process includes simmering the broth for about 12 hours with pork bones or whole chickens along with shio (salt), shoyu (soy) and herbs. Bones are then crushed into the broth and strained, leaving a rich, creamy consistency and rich taste, unlike broths bought in the grocery store. The restaurant offers five broths including a vegan one made with a cauliflower.
In addition to tonkotsu, Jinya’s selection includes wonton chicken ramen, spicy umami miso ramen, spicy creamy vegan ramen and the “Cha Cha Cha” for garlic lovers. Diners can pair four types of noodles — thin, thick, extra thick and spinach – with 23 different toppings to customize their ramen including fried onions, corn, seaweed and mushrooms.
In addition to ramen, Jinya serves small plates like pork buns, tempura Brussels sprouts with truffle oil, pork gyoza, takoyaki (octopus fritters), quinoa salad, chicken wings and shrimp toast. The menu also includes salads, three kinds of mini tacos including salmon poke and pork chashu with kimchi, and five kinds of rice bowls and curry. For dessert there is mochi ice cream, panna cotta or frozen block pops.
During the opening, rotating chef’s specials include karaage chicken ramen and stuffed Portobello mushroom. There are also kids meals that include a small bowl of ramen, rice, crispy chicken, sweet potato fries, a slice of orange, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a piece of candy.
Ramen prices range from $12.75 to $17.50 with toppings priced from 50 cents to $3.50. Salads range from $5-$9, small plates from $4.95 to $10, mini tacos from $6 to $7, rice bowls and curry from $6-$17 and dessert from $4.75 to $6. Kids meals cost $12.50.
Diners can pair their dishes with a selection from the beverage program from bar manager William Johns, who previously worked at Fiola Mare. Offerings include local craft and Japanese beers, Japanese-inspired cocktails, sake, wine and seasonal, house-made, non-alcoholic beverages. A rotating wine and rotating sake will also be available on tap. Food and drink happy hour specials will be served Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m.
The next area location will be in the Pike and Rose development at 11840 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. Other DMV locations will include Arlington, Alexandra and Reston.
Jinya is open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.